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In contrast to trends at many beaches in Florida, development along Jacksonville’s beaches has remained mostly low-rise.
Quality of Life
A vigorous arts scene includes the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, ranked as one of the top 40 in the nation in terms of budget size and population served; top acts at the Florida Theatre; and a monthly art walk that draws a crowd downtown on the first Wednesday of the month.
The city is home to the largest public library in the state.
Some of Florida’s best beaches are an easy drive from downtown in places like Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Vilano Beach, offering a wide range of sport fishing, boating and water sport opportunities.
Jacksonville has one of the largest urban park systems in the country.
Jacksonville has one of the largest systems of urban parks in the nation, including an increasing number of riverfront parks downtown.
While public transportation is weak and trucking congestion is an increasingly urgent problem for economic developers, Jacksonville’s commute time isn’t bad for those who drive the city’s many bridges each day. Commuters spend an average 23 minutes getting to work.
Jacksonville children enjoy urban amenities that include the downtown “Kids Kampus” with a splash park open all summer. Across from downtown on the Southbank, the Museum of Science and History offers interactive science exhibits, as well as summer camps and other perks for kids. To the north, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has more than 1,000 rare and exotic creatures. The zoo occupies about 70 acres along the St. Johns River.
Jacksonville is a golf center and is home to numerous championship courses, including those at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, St. Johns Golf and Country Club and two courses at World Golf Village. Nearby Ponte Vedra Beach hosts the PGA Tour and the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, which hosts the Players Championship in May. The course is consistently named one of the best in the world. The World Golf Hall of Fame, located 20 minutes south of Jacksonville in St. Augustine, features historical items, golfers’ memorabilia and interactive experiences.
Architects including Henry John Klutho converged on the city from around the nation after a huge fire in 1901 destroyed downtown. As a result, Jacksonville is home to many striking historic buildings, such as Klutho’s St. James Building, a one-time department store that now houses City Hall. But it also has one of the most beautiful modern skylines in the south, crisscrossed by dramatic bridges and marked by unique skyscrapers such as the Modis building.